How to Be a Weekend Jetsetter
While traveling the world full-time is beyond most of our means, being a “weekend jetsetter” is more of an option than you might think. Even if you hold down a full time job, it’s possible to take several weekend trips a month without feeling exhausted or completely impoverished.
1. Let airfare determine your destination
Don’t give up on your dream trips but choose your weekend destination based on what is on sale. Many of the places I’ve been were never on my top 10, but I’m glad I went! When Omaha, Pensacola, and Sicily came up at ridiculously good prices I jumped on them and had more fun than I dreamed.
How to find cheap fares:
- Scan Airfarewatchdog’s daily email of the cheapest fares from your home airport
- Use Google Flights or Kayak Explore to see at a glance the cheapest destinations for your dates
- Sign up for the airlines last minute deals emails to see the best fares for the next two weekends.
2. Master the art of cheap hotel stays
You may get a killer fare somewhere only to discover hotel prices are through the roof. Start collecting hotel points as a way of scoring free or discounted rooms. Get familiar with Hotwire and Priceline and enjoy the thrill of a mystery stay. Make friends through AirBnB which will help cut costs in areas without many chains.
3. Book first, double check later
Really good airfares don’t last long. By the time you’ve tracked down your friends and made a decision, it could be gone. If you see a flight you want to take, book it. You’ll typically have 24 hours to cancel for free, plenty of time to check your work schedule, confer with friends, etc.
4. Don’t try to see everything in a weekend
If you’re taking one or two weekend trips a year then you can afford to run yourself ragged getting to everywhere on your list. But if you’re traveling a couple of times a month you don’t want to show up at work jetlagged every Monday morning. Choose a few things you want to see and set a leisurely pace. Sleep in or stay up watching your favorite TV show. The point of travel is to enjoy yourself, not win the prize for being the most thorough tourist. Besides, if you like the place, you can always come back.
5. Break out of your comfort zone
Be willing to try new situations (big cities, hot climates) and definitely be willing, at least occasionally, to travel solo. You’ll find a world of unexpected opportunities opening up — some bad, but many will be amazing.
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